a test to determine if you're ultra-wealthy or just a regular old Joe.
What do you do if, on a sunny but cold day, you really want to drive
A. Realize you can't bend the world to your desires, and drive the convertible, but with the roof up. B. Wear a hat and gloves, and turn the heat up full blast. C. Make sure you're driving a Mercedes-Benz E350 convertible with a $3,000 option that will keep your ears warm.
The truly rich will go for C. The rest of us might have to go for
another option that's not even listed here, driving the one and only car
that's working today.
Rich people have good lives, and
carmakers want to make sure they're never, ever inconvenienced. So they
offer lots of pricey options to make sure rich people have back
massagers, scented air and even foot rests as they speed down the road.
Cars.com looked through high end car makers spec sheets to find the
most extravagant car options on the market today. Click through to see
what how the other half lives.
The idea is so simple and elegant it had to come from a German
carmaker. The Airscarf is exactly what it sounds like: vents on the tops
of the seats in the convertible direct warm air around the head and
necks of driver and passenger, creating a cozy sensation even on chilly
days. The Airscarf is controlled by computer to calculate the ideal air
temperature for your speed. No need to wait for the heater to warm up,
the vents use energized ceramic particles to heat the air around you
Reclining Rear Executive Seats -- Lexus LS 460 L, $16,400
The back seat was once where younger siblings, children or fair-weather
friends were banished. That criteria gets flipped on its head in the
Lexus LS. The LS feels
more like a mini limo in the back, with DVD players and swivel tables.
Engage the retractable ottoman and lean back in the reclining seats and
it feels like home. Hit the massage button for the full executive
treatment. Now that haughty front seat crew are more like your
Not only does the Audi A8 provide massages, but has three settings to
achieve the exact amount of relaxation required during a long stay in
traffic. Audis are known for their smart and sleek interiors, but it's
under the hood where the A8 pops.
The Audi A8 is an impressive blend of performance, technology and
luxury. It has a 372-horsepower 4.2-liter V8 engine that is capable of
propelling this big sedan from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.7
The Mercedes-Benz SLK350 features the world's first electrochromatic
roof. The Magic Sky Control can transition from opaque to transparent
and anywhere in between in a matter of seconds by sending specific
currents through the light-blocking crystals sandwiched in the glass. A
clear roof gives the driver the feel of having the convertible top down, without all the troublesome wind noise.
Auto-Closing Sedan Doors -- BMW 740Li, $4,800
Sticker Price: $77,600 Invoice Price: NA Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
Gone is the uncouth sound of slamming doors for BMW owners. The 740Li is a big luxury sedan,
both inside the passenger compartment and under the hood. The refined,
powerful V12 engine kicks out 535 horsepower, enough to turn any driver
into jelly. After driving this beast you'll need help standing up, let
alone closing the door. Luckily the 740Li does it for you. With just a
slight push,the door mechanically locks itself into place.
When is a Benz not a Benz? When people can't tell if you're driving
one. In the dark, why, it might as well be a Lexus. Avoid this
embarrassment by adding the Illuminated Star option to your new E350.
The famous Mercedes-Benz star on the grill is outlined in a halo of
glowing LED's, letting the world know you paid for fine German
engineering, day or night.
Custom Interior Parts -- Porsche 911, $165 to $2,570
Sticker Price: $84,300 - $181,100 Invoice Price: NA Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 27 mpg highway
Porsche has an endless collection of interesting options to choose from
in the interior of the popular 911. The fanciest include interior
packages which will ad touches of carbon, mahogany, brushed Aluminum or
Alcantara - a suede like composite material - to your interior.
Everything else is covered in super smooth high grain leather. From
adjustable ambient lighting to painted air vent slats, nothing is too
good for a Porsche or its owner.
Each Viper is
carefully painted by hand before they're shipped to customers. Stryker
Reds don't come down the line very often, but when they do the candy
apple red car is mesmerizing. The paint is a striking statement, but
then so is the car. And really, what's another $14,000 on top of a
$100,000 base model?
Part of the Air Balance Package, Mercedes offers
drivers four different signature scents inspired by the world whipping
by your car. Nightlife, Sports, Downtown and Freeside were all created
by Mercedes-Benz resident futurologist Sabine Englehardt. They call it
the first "automotive room scent", and it works kind of like a Glade
plug-in air freshener. Except more expensive. The system turns itself on
and off at regular intervals, making sure your nose never gets fully
acclimatized to the smell.
If bracing for the Gs in your 402 horsepower luxury sedans seems passe,
you could always go with active seat bolsters. The seats are kept level
by computer controlled springs bolted underneath. When the turn is
extreme, the seats equalize to keep passengers level. The active seat
bolster can be turned off as well, to give drivers the full feel of the
car. The E-Class sits in the middle of the Mercedes car line, between the compact and affordable C-Class and the big, flashy S-Class. It's the company's best-selling car worldwide, partly because of the car's slightly more affordable luxury.